Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Ethics? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Ethics is a bar located in Austin, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted two separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it's uncommon for a bar without a history of run-ins with the TABC to end up on the hook for contributing to a wrongful death or injury. Virtually every bar I have ever sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with several recent complaints against them. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of a violation, it doesn't necessarily mean an establishment is innocent, either. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Ethics for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Ethics Between 2018 and 2019
Austin - 422 N Congress Avenue Suite C
On 04/23/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and sold drugs on the premises.
The ensuing investigation found sufficient evidence to confirm a total of four violations (two criminal and two administrative) for illegal drug sales. After handing down unspecified penalties, the TABC brought its work on the case to a close on 05/04/2018.
A member of the Austin community reached out to the TABC on 02/19/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 03/19/2019.
Texas Law Says Accident Victims Can Sue Bad Bars
If you would like to learn more about Texas dram shop law (i.e. lawsuits against bars who play a role in injurious or fatal accidents), please visit our Texas Dram Shop Law Info Page.